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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Dreams Made Flesh (Chapter 57)      Page
  • Dreams Made Flesh(Black Jewels,Book 5)(57) by Anne Bishop
  • "That's enough for the day."

    She tripped over the sound of his voice, struggled to regain her balance. "What?"

    "That's enough." He tugged the stick out of her hands. "I'm not sure where your mind wandered off to, but you weren't paying attention."

    Oh, she'd been paying attention, but she'd been focused on the man and not the lesson.

    "It's close to midday, and the weather has cleared." Lucivar smiled at her. "Why don't we fly down to the village? I'll buy you a meal."

    Pain lanced her heart, fierce and deep. She shook her head and backed away from him. "I can't."

    "Sure you can." He sighed. "Marian, eating a meal you didn't cook isn't neglecting your work."

    "I can't." He'd mentioned once or twice that he'd never seen her fly, but she'd been able to avoid giving him a reason. Now…

    "Why not?" Lucivar asked.

    Tears filled her eyes. "I can't fly! My wings… they were damaged. They're useless."

    Grief and understanding filled his eyes. Here was someone who understood what that loss meant to her.

    Then his eyes chilled. "Who told you that?" he asked too softly.

    "It doesn't matter. I can't…"

    "Who told you that?"

    Uneasy now, she wiped the tears off her face. She could almost see the temper beginning to burn in him, could almost see it rising from spike to spike until it would reach the explosion point.

    "Jaenelle brought you to Kaeleer," Lucivar said, studying her. "She would have done the healing. Ifshe told you you'd never fly again, you'd have to accept it. But she didn't, did she? So who told you, Marian?"

    She stared at him, not sure if there was any safe ground to stand on.

    Lucivar bared his teeth. "Luthvian. She's the one who told you."

    "Lady Angelline doesn't have experience with Eyrien…"

    "On her worst day, Jaenelle is a better Healer than Luthvian can ever hope to be." He shook his head. "You think your wings were damaged? When I came to Kaeleer, mine were so broken, so destroyed by slime mold there was barely enough healthy tissue left to work with. Luthvian

    wanted to remove them. Jaenelle rebuilt them, healed them. So don't tell me she doesn't have experience."

    Marian's legs trembled. She could have flown? All these months when she'd been afraid to try, she could have soared over Ebon Rih?

    Swearing viciously, Lucivar circled the room as if he couldn't stand still a moment longer. Finally, he stopped in front of her. The hand he held out curled into a fist.

    "Don't let them win, Marian. Don't let them make you less than you are. Don't let them take away what means the most to you. Not the family who dismissed your strength and your skills, not the bastards who hurt you…yes, I know about them…and not Luthvian. Don't let them win. Fight for what you want with everything that's in you."

    "It's not the same," Marian cried. "I'm just a hearth witch and you're—"

    "I was a slave!" Lucivar shouted. "A half-breed bastard sold to one court after another, wearing that filthy Ring of Obedience to keep me submissive. But I wouldn't submit, I wouldn't break, and I fought back with every breath I took. I refused to be less than a Warlord Prince, and I made them deal with me on my terms. No matter how much pain they inflicted, I gave it back."

    "I'm not like that. I can't fight like that."

    "Have you ever tried?" He raked a hand through his hair. "If you give up your wings, what else will you give up because someone tells you you're just a hearth witch?"

    Something broke inside her…broke and reformed in a different pattern. She teetered on the edge of a cliff. She could step back to familiar ground or she could leap…and possibly soar.

    He'd been pushing her toward that edge. She saw that now. Every time he challenged and she pushed back, he never undermined the sense that she had held her own. She didn't usually win…his idea of compromise was laughable…but she didn't actually lose, either.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire